In my recent blog post related to the contradictory stand on the value of human life in American culture, I claimed that, according to the law of the land, a fetus is deemed human according to the desire of the mother. If the mother wanted to give birth to the child and the child is somehow killed in the womb, the perpetrator could be (and has been) charged with murder. If, on the other hand, the mother does not want the child, a professional can do the same thing and receive both legal protection and compensation for doing so. This second person has “constitutional protection.” Illogical, I know.
As a result of that, I was asked to give a “non-religious” argument to why abortion should be illegal (the absurdity of the above-mentioned contradiction notwithstanding). So, I offered the following:
1. Abortion kills innocent life.
2. Killing innocent life is, by definition, murder.
3. Murder is illegal.
4. Therefore, abortion should be illegal.
That’s not religious.
I was challenged on the point of calling abortion “murder”, the questioner claiming that I had misdefined the word because everybody knows that murder is “by definition,” a malicious act and I was just trying to twist the definition to suit my usage.
I got to thinking about that because I don’t want to do that. I seek truth where it can be found and am not interested in manipulation. On the other hand, I don’t want to deny reality just to satisfy a technicality, either.
So, the scope or limits of this post is to offer a reason for using that terminology and hope you’ll thoughtfully read this all the way through before you tune me out or jump to a quick conclusion.
It is true that at least some dictionary definitions include the word “malice” in the definition, but we know by experience that isn’t a full picture of the word. As a matter of fact, there arises, from time to time, serial killers who don’t exhibit any signs of malicious behavior. They feel no guilt or remorse and, frankly, feel no malice towards their victims at all. They often don’t know anything about them as individuals, including their names. There are entire fields of study dedicated to trying to understand these ruthless killers.
Michael Welner, MD, forensic psychiatrist, claims, “people who are true psychopaths really are cold and callous and lack empathy and have a detached way of feeling emotion.” In other words, they are not necessarily malicious. They’re just killers.
Do we call them “murderers”? You bet we do. ALL of us do, regardless of how the dictionary limits the definition. We know by experience and there is none among us who would argue otherwise (except fellow ruthless, maniacal, sociopathic killers…but they aren’t saying).
We know that murder doesn’t always involve malice. In fact, we reserve the most detestable names for these type people who kill without malice like sociopaths, psychopaths, cold-blooded serial killers, and animals. People like this who come to mind are the so-called BTK killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson and Dennis Rader. All very much murderers and all very much acting without personal malice towards their victims.
Is my point, then, to paint young women who choose abortion as cold-blooded maniacal killers? Of course not! By in large, these young ladies are often scared to death and unsure of what to do about a situation they knew was possible but never imagined would really happen. They’re looking for a way out and I understand that.
Though these young ladies (and the young men, too) bear responsibility for their own actions, they are too often not given great counsel on other very valid options like adoption, nor are they made aware that the child they are carrying is more than just tissue with the potential to become a human being. The only counsel they receive is often by those professionally trained to carry out abortions without malice, guilt or feeling (but don’t have the excuse of being mentally unhinged). They simply know that the more abortions they can encourage young ladies to have, the more money they get. It’s not usually that they get their jollies through torture, like mentally deranged killers. It’s worse than that…it’s just business.
That is simply the abortion culture in which we live and demonstrates why my explanation not only works but, I believe, is 100% accurate in labeling abortion as murder.
This is not some religious rant. It is a view of reality in which we live where a large segment of the population refuses to look at things as they really are because it infringes upon their rights. To see abortion as murder introduces guilt and we’d much prefer to continue our legal killing spree without that messy inconvenience.
Though this was not a “religious” formulation of the wrongness of abortion and the reason for which it should be illegal, my faith in Scripture as the Word of God tells me why it is objectively wrong, regardless of it’s legal standing. We do not have a right to play God and determine who lives and who dies when His Word does not give us judiciary instruction (which it often does related to criminal activity). We are not at liberty to take innocent life because it is convenient or because we simply choose to. I absolutely believe we should and will be held accountable for that unrepentant stand.
However, just as I believe that abortion is a sin against a Holy God and a devaluation of human life, in general, I know that same God is a God who restores. Through Christ, there is forgiveness and healing that comes to anyone who seeks it. I know that regardless of past actions, He has already dealt with the penalty of them through the death and resurrection of Christ that satisfies the just wrath of God towards sin. The removal of guilt, loneliness and hurt follows, but it only comes when we face reality, call it what it is and cry out for mercy to a loving, holy Savior.
In short, we have to decide we’re going to stop living a world of contradictions.